DR, Danish Broadcasting Corporation. +15 short questions with Mikkel Müller, CIO.
Does the saying “Brevity is the soul of wit” sound familiar to you? TM Broadcast has the opportunity to put it into practice to bring you the exciting technology strategy of DR, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation.
We take a look at the corporation’s closest future, its latest challenges and its particular way of understanding television production with its CIO, Mikkel Müller. Join us to discover the technical resources that support the Danish corporation.
DR is a public TV organization. Is “addressing technology innovation” among the public services objectives you must achieve?
No, as a public organization DRs objectives and regulations are focused on content, and technology objectives are mainly focused on distribution.
What is DR vision regarding technology?
To support DR with the best technology solutions, with a focus on cost efficiency and excellent operations and stability.
What TV and Radio channels does DR include? What are your production facilities?
DR delivers 3 TV linear channels, 4 FM radio channels and 3 DAB radio channels. These channels and their content are all available through our OTT/VOD platforms as well. We have a significant internal production with +20 TV studios and around 35 radio studios.
In your opinion, do DR viewers demand and appreciate TV technology innovations?
There is a strong demand for OTT/VOD and continued work to enhance theses platforms is the key area of technology demand from our viewers.
What has been the critical technological changes that DR has faced in recent years?
The shift towards OTT/VOD as an independent platform has been the biggest change. Some years ago, our OTT/VOD solution served primarily as a catch-up option for viewers who missed a program in a linear TV channel. Now, a significant and growing number of users use our OTT/VOD platform as their primary platform. We have invested significantly in our OTT/VOD platform to support this development.
Is DR currently undergoing renovation? What are the areas you need to develop shortly?
We are renewing our play-out facility currently and we will also renovate our radio studios in the coming years.
What are the biggest challenges for DR in the following years?
The biggest challenge is keeping up with the shift from linear TV to OTT/VOD media usage, and maintaining DRs penetration and relevance amongst the users in Denmark, where more and more use digital media.
What is DR’s production standard nowadays? Are you currently working with HD or 4K? What about 8K and HDR technologies?
We are working in HD in general production and have no current plans towards 4K, 8K or HDR in our general production, but we monitor the development in these technologies.
What is the basic infrastructure you deploy to produce a standard program such as TV News?
The basic infrastructure in our News studios is both SDI & IP-based, the video equipment is still interconnected via SDI, all audio equipment is IP-based & soon we will move intercom systems to IP as well.
What is the main equipment at DR’s control rooms? Do you unify resources in all studios?
The main equipment in our control rooms are unified across most of the studios. We are using routers, switches, audio systems, multi viewers & intercom solutions from companies like nVision, S-A-M, Grass Valley, Miranda, Solid State Logic and Riedel.
Graphics are getting more and more complex in TV. What graphic platform do you use in a common basis? Are you using AR or VR at the moment?
We use Vizrt as the main platform for TV graphics. We are using AR quite a lot in the News production and there is more coming.
Do you use a unified MAM system across the entire DR’s infrastructure?
Yes, we have a unified MAM for TV and radio content. This has been in production for +10 years and has been upgraded regularly to keep up with demands and the development in technology.
Are you considering adopting an IP infrastructure? Do you currently use SDI?
We have been using IP infrastructure for audio for a few years. Now, we are extending IP infrastructure into our new play-out facility. SDI will still be used extensively, but IP is the future.
Regarding outside broadcasting, do you use DSNG, transmission backpacks, OB trucks or a combination of all of them?
We use a combination of SNG, backpacks and OB depending on the production type and needs.
Are you currently working on big data and IA tools to improve your archiving or even production workflow?
We are doing small scale proof of concept with this, but nothing in production yet.
What about distribution? What playout system are you currently deploying?
We are renewing our playout facility and the new platform is based on Pixelpower and IP-infrastructure from Axon.
What is your strategy regarding OTT/VOD platforms? Are the days of Linear TV numbered?
OTT/VOD is the key strategic area and DR have invested significantly in this, but we still believe that linear TV will be here for many years to come.